Being able to witness UNICEF’s work in Honduras was very meaningful to me. I got involved and went on this trip because of my son-in-law, Matt, who encouraged our family to support UNICEF. Matt passed away recently, and our support for UNICEF is a memorial to him. I think he would be deeply proud of what is happening in Honduras.
UNICEF and its partners envision an AIDS-free generation. On this year’s World AIDS Day, we highlight the huge impact that Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (or PMTCT) has had on reducing the number of new infections in Africa. Mirriam Chongo lives in Zambia, where investment in HIV testing, care and prevention has made great progress. That means women like Mirriam who discovered that she was HIV positive when she was pregnant with her first child, are getting the continued support they need to protect their babies from infection during the first crucial years.
Today is Universal Children’s Day, dedicated 67 years ago to celebrate childhood, encourage friendship and understanding amongst children, and askourselves to take an action toward their well-being. I am reminded of something Rose Kennedy once said about the inherent and awe-inspiring potential of each child:
“Whenever I held my newborn baby in my arms, I used to think that what I said and did to him could have an influence not only on him but on all whom he met, not only for a day or a month or a year, but for all eternity…”
Mark your calendars! World Water Week is from March 19-25, 2012! Which means that for the next several months I’ll be working on the UNICEF Tap Project, which helps raise awareness of the world water crisis and raise funds for UNICEF water and sanitation programs around the world.
There we met one of the most dedicated and amazing neonatologists, Dr. Muluarem. She has been working tirelessly to create this clinic. Five years ago, she started in a single room with no equipment; today she has expanded into four rooms with trained nurses, fully developed protocol, beds and an incubator. As the new clinic is being finished, she is looking forward to having more space and equipment available for ‘her babies’ in order to continue her incredible work.
UNICEF’s Emergency Supply Center is an enormous warehouse where lifesaving supplies such as medical kits, nutritional supplies, therapeutic food, water, and vaccines are packed and distributed worldwide. UNICEF staff members gave us a tour, which I found particularly interesting. I was impressed to learn that one single packed UNICEF emergency supply box can help 1,000 people!